The parents of a developmental dysenter shot dead by a duty-free cop in a Costco said they told the shopper not to fire his gun because their son was not a threat.
Russell and Paola French, both severely injured in the shootings in Corona east of Los Angeles on June 14, spoke publicly for the first time since their son Kenneth, 32, was shot dead by police officer Salvador Sanchez in Los Angeles has been.
claims Sanchez After being beaten down with his little son in his arms, he opened the fire.
Russell French, who had been shot in the chest and stomach and lost a kidney, said at a press conference on Monday that he had asked Sanchez not to fire. "I told him we had no weapons and my son was ill."
Paola French, shot in the back and comatose, said she "advocates for my son and our lives."
"What threat have I put to him?" She asked. Her son was a "peaceful and loving soul" who was never aggressive, she said.
At the time of the shooting, no one in the French family was armed.
The Corona police said Kenneth French attacked Sanchez without provocation. A lawyer from Sanchez, David Winslow, said the policeman went shopping with his wife in Costco and hugged his little son when they were both "knocked down".
"While lying on the floor of Costco, he was unprotected and had no other way to protect himself and his son from further deadly attacks," the lawyer said in a statement after the incident. He said the "only way" is for the officer to use lethal force.
Ira Salzman, another Sanchez lawyer, told The Associated Press that the officer was "attacked" and "in self-defense."
"It's a terrible tragedy for both families," Salzman said.
A lawyer from the French family, Dale Galipo, said Monday that Kenneth French, who was non-verbal, could have pushed the officer from behind, but the action was not an attack, and the French family moved away quickly.
"It is certainly not justified to kill someone," said Galipo. The lawyer said he was not sure if there had been a dispute before the shootout and urged the authorities to remove footage from the scene.
A judge, however, has ordered that videos remain sealed for a year to the public until an investigation by prosecutors pending decision on the filing of criminal charges.
The French family filed suit on Monday for damages against the Los Angeles Police Department, the City of Los Angeles and Sanchez.
The lawsuit alleged that Sanchez had previously identified himself as a LAPD officer in the shootout and fired his weapon issued by the LAPD, but he "failed to give a verbal warning to the French family that lethal force would be used ", ignoring the couple's request not to shoot.
"The shootings of Kenneth, Russell and Paola French were unjustified, unreasonable and utterly exaggerated, in particular because neither Kenneth, Russell nor Paola French posed any imminent danger of death or serious injury to any son, including Officer Sanchez, at the time the shooting ", it said in the statement.
Russell and Paola French suffered emotional distress after the shooting and had to pay medical bills on multiple surgeries and had to be treated at home.
The LAPD did not respond to a request for a comment. Sanchez is in paid administrative leave, which is mandatory after a shootout among police officers.